Hands on for kids is spread out throughout the museum. There is still an area in my office for the kids to write with a nib pen and a slate pencil.
Brand new to our hands on is sheep wool. Roving, batting and raw wool.
Very few of the kids that visit the museum live on a farm..and the ones that do ..consider a farm..a dog and a horse. Gone are farms as we knew them..at least in this area of Minnesota.
I had so much raw wool I made a Ziplock bag that says “Smell the Sheep!” On really warm days it was a real eye opener. Far Guy made the wool display board and the wool itself was donated by Lanny way out there at Vicktory Farm and Gardens in Roy Washington. It is nice to have blog friend that will supply you with what you need. Many thanks Lanny, Dirt and EBet!
This year I added a table in the basement for “hands on.”
It holds many things for kids to touch. They can guess which furs are which. ( The names are written on the back.) They can put pieces of paper into paper embosser/seal makers, press the handle down and then cut the papers out..many kids call it “a driver’s license.” One embosser seal says something about Park Rapids and the other something about Minnesota. Some children like to take the edge of a pencil and gently enhance the raised part of the seal. So far no one has embossed their fingers! We also have a sand box that is an archeological dig in the basement…full of treasure to be discovered.
I have a typewriter upstairs in the clerks office and a scale that weighs ounces. In the Heritage room I have two sets of stereoscopes. I always explain to children that a stereoscope was entertainment for the evening ..long ago. I have a little girls muff in my office..even the big girls like to put their hands in a muff. My Pheasant that kids can touch gently is always a big hit with kids. The one room school room..is all hands on..they can sit in the desks, pretend to be the teacher and write on the chalkboard…or sit and read books. Sometimes it is just best to stand back and let the little imaginations flow.
There is some discussion about having an area in one of the newly painted rooms as a children’s area. So far having things spread out throughout the museum works for me and the kids seem to enjoy it. I have a list posted of all the children’s activities.
We also have a treasure hunt for kids..but as I found out the other day..I do not know where all the items are located..so I need to make a cheat sheet just for me. I inherited the treasure hunt and it is great fun for adults and kids.
Time at the museum is winding down..only 17 days left:)
Sounds like great fun and very educational. Hope the time flies by until you can take a break.
You've been busy! It's not long until you finish up :-) Jo
That is a really neat idea. I love any hands on area in a museum - it makes it so much more "alive".
I love the hands on. It makes learning fun for kids. Sounds like you've been very busy. I'm sure you're ready for a break!
Here's to that 18th day!!
What a fine idea! I remember hands on when I went to museums as a kid. You are such a valuable resource. And thanks for sharing it with me! :-)
You have such wonderful ideas for the museum. I love the "touch me" displays. What fun for everyone - not just the kids - I would enjoy doing them myself. You are making that museum a fun place to visit and I hope you are being fully appreciated.
That's so cool that you have worked to find things for the kids to 'do'. They learn best that way and walking through a museum reading about stuff just doesn't suit most of them (sometimes not me, either!) Many years ago I took my kids to the "Please Touch" Museum in Philadelphia. The kids had kid-sized things to do to learn about life. My favorite was a puzzle 'mural'. The wooden puzzle board was shaped and painted as a basket. Then the kids walked through an area that had 4' high painted plywood walls that had the puzzle pieces in the walls. There were apple trees with apple puzzle pieces. There was a corn field with ears of corn to 'pick' and put in the basket. They even had a life-sized cow they could pretend to milk, and then pick up a 'milk' piece for their puzzle. I don't know why I was so impressed by the exhibit... I guess because it was so kid-oriented - but I loved it!
I like the idea of having the items scattered throughout the museum because it's important for the children to see the other items, too, and make the connection with the items they are allowed to touch. I imagine a grandmother telling the children their memories or stories about the "do not touch" items. A separate Children's Room gives the impression that little ones are not allowed in the Adult Museum.
Touching is good for kids. It actually help you remember things.
I have to say that if you had a room just for kids I'd be afraid the parents might just deposit them there and expect babysitting service. I worked in pet shops for years and we were often treated like that. So annoying!! I think having the activities spread out over the museum is a better idea, IMHO. It also encourages parents/adults and kids to do things together (supervision). And if you have a big group--you could always split them up into smaller pods depending on how many adults are with.
Only 17 more days--whoohoo!! Won't be long now! You have done so much there. And--yes--bloggers are some fantastic folk! :):)
I could only wish that there was a museum like that when I was a kid. How wonderful to be told, touch, feel, try.
Jen @ Muddy Boot Dreams
I like your museum where things of long a go are emphasized. The modern museum with an expensive diorama is rather sterile.
I LOVE your hands-on ideas!!! Very original and creative. I don't know if I mentioned this one to you before - - but have Far Guy design a "lock board", too if he wants. It's different kinds of locks - - - like barrel, hook & eye, padlock, etc. So the keys don't get lost, they are attached to the board with a chain. Those are fascinating to kids, too.
You are doing a GREAT job at that museum.
Hands on for kids makes such a difference. I'll never forget the "Pioneer Days" program put on by our county's Historical Society and Museum for local school children. Yes, the parents got drafted and deputized as special docents re-enacting specific roles (I got to run the printing press and newspaper, and my husband served as blacksmith) and had to attend a Saturday morning of training--but it was so worth it. Everybody had a chance to get into the act--students could come dressed in historic costume, too. The students kept the things they made for years to come--a real highlight to the school year and beyond!
I think these types of programs make a vivid impression on the kids because they get to learn by doing and by getting their hands on the real stuff, instead of just reading it in a dry, boring textbook. Don't get me wrong--reading is valuable, too, but nothing compares, in a child's memory, to getting their hands on the stuff they are studying, letting their imagination bring them back to those times and experiencing it for themselves.
Hooray for your museum for allowing local students to have that opportunity!
I love museums that allow you to have hands-on experiences!
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